City commissioners decide not to approve mosquito control projects

City commissioners chose not to support any proposal to use pesticides to treat the mosquito population during a meeting on Monday, July 24.

Possible methods for mosquito removal were compiled by director of public works John Zang in collaboration with APM Mosquito Control. The methods presented included eliminating mosquito larvae by treating all catch basins and retention ponds in Mount Pleasant with larviside bricks, which would cost $15,000, in addition to a citywide spraying for three consecutive nights to reduce the population of adult mosquitoes, which would cost an additional $15,000.

A motion to go forward with treating the 1,900 catch basins and six retention ponds in the city was unanimously rejected by the board of commissioners. 

City manager Nancy Ridley reported that Mount Pleasant would not receive any funding from FEMA or the State of Michigan for the purpose of mosquito control. For this reason, commissioner Jim Holton opposed the project, also citing the fact that many of the adult mosquitoes will be dead soon, and the treatments won't effect mosquito eggs that have already been laid. 

"With the cost what it is, I can't support (the spraying)," Holton said. "I love mosquito control, but it's so late in the season, we just have to live with it for a few more months. We have to be budget conscious, so unfortunately I'm not going to be in favor of spending any money on mosquito control at this point in time."

Commissioner Lori Gillis, who has opposed city-funded mosquito control projects in the past, said that Mount Pleasant residents can combat the mosquito population on their own by emptying any standing water in the yards, buying their own mosquito spray and encouraging their neighbors to do the same.

At the same meeting, commissioners approved a purchase and development agreement with the Mount Pleasant Economic Development Corporation for a parcel of land located at 401 West Broadway Street. The project is a joint venture between Maplegrove Property Management and Weiland Construction.

The concept plan includes a nearly 100,000 square foot building containing commercial retail on the bottom floor, and four additional floors of apartment space.